WordPress ‘Invalid Response Document’ error

Problem:

Just had a problem with using Windows Live Writer after the software updated. I went to post a blog to my self-hosted WordPress install and got the error below;

Invalid response document returned from XmlRpc server

I couldn’t work out what it was but found a closed topic on www.wordpress.org that talks about php filenames being wrong.

Solution:

As I hadn’t had any previous issues and had been using Windows Live Writer fine during the last week I decided to check my plugins were updated. One wasn’t so I updated that even though it wasn’t an active plugin. That didn’t work so I simply went into the dashboard and ‘Updates’. Here I used the ‘Re-install Now’ button to reinstall the WordPress core code and after doing this Windows Live Writer worked again seamlessly.
Update: As a friend pointed out to me – uninstall any inactive plugins. They are a backdoor for hackers.

Result:

Happy blogger!

Back to an Apple Future

I was recently sent a link to Kim Komando’s  TVKim that showed a YouTube of the ‘imagineering’ going on at Apple back in the late 80s and early 90s. While the video below is made up of material from around 1987 and 1992 it still makes a powerful statement on what can be achieved when we have a vision for the future. Enjoy this little technological prophetic ride.

More videos from Apple’s past promotions can be found here. Click Here

Its interesting that when you read the comments under the video in YouTube you find statements like this.

No they got it a MONTH out. A few weeks to be precise.
The video asks for a file 5 years back on deforestation, and the article was in 2006. 2006 + 5 = 2011. On the Knowledge Navigator calendar, the month happens to be September. This video was based in September 2011. It? was made in 1987. Siri was released October 2011. AMAZING. AMAZZZIIINNNGGGG.
Apple were a few weeks off, and they also knew deforestation was going to be an issue today. Apple is from the future?

"You'll hardly be able to? notice you're online"
Well, I sure notice when I'm not.

Saga of a Camcorder Buyer

20th September 2010

Dear CEO,

Saga of a Camcorder Buyer Looker

I am writing this open letter to all of the manufacturers involved in my shopping expedition over the weekend. After two weeks of internet research and reading reviews I ventured out this Sunday at 10am to buy a mid-range HD camcorder. On the 7th of October my wife and I are heading for the trip of a lifetime to see Israel for 8 days and we wanted to upgrade our Sony DCR-TRV230 Digital8 camcorder to something more portable with flash memory so we could show our children the trip on our return.

What has followed astounded even me. I have not been able to buy a camera because they are either not in stock, unable to be demonstrated or stocking old models they can’t clear. I went out looking for a camcorder with the following spec. Essential features included; Full HD 1920×1080, Flash Memory (SD) and Auto Focus. Additional features we hoped for included; Built-in memory, Touch screen and Touch to Focus. We hoped to end up buying a unit in the $550-$750 range.

We had narrowed our range suited to features and budget to probably the Panasonic HDC-SD60 or the Sony HDR-CX110 based on previous positive experiences. We were also keeping in mind the JVC Everio GZHD620, Canon Legria HF R106, as well as the Samsung H200 and Samsung HMX-H105.

Living in Loganholme we started our expedition and felt we were dealing with the premier retailers in our local area. This is a list of the retail outlets we visited from 10am to 5pm on Sunday.

Harvey Norman – Loganholme
Clive Peters – Loganholme
Good Guys – Loganholme
Dick Smith Powerhouse – Springwood
RT Edwards – Springwood
Harvey Norman – Garden City
JB HIFI – Garden City
Good Guys – Upper Mt. Gravatt
Clive Antony – Upper Mt. Gravatt

The key issues that came up time and time again were the same and as a distributor of the brands I went looking for I felt you may have more ability to effect change in the local store.

  1. No stock – often the key stock wasn’t available. When asked what was available most couldn’t tell me what was available in terms of other models or what was available and when from their supplier. I am yet to see/hold a Panasonic HDC-SD60
  2. Old stock – more often than not the display was taken up with old stock the retailer was trying to clear. When asked about current models I was told “that’s it”.
  3. Demonstration models – batteries weren’t charged and available in all but one store.
  4. Staff availability – Waiting in one case up to 15min at a counter for assistance.
  5. Staff training – This was perhaps the saddest aspect that occasionally finding stock I wasn’t able to find a staff member who could explain or demonstrate the unit. Given they didn’t have a charged battery that was probably the appropriate response.

This exercise has surprised me and if I were you as the manufacturer I would be highly disappointed. I didn’t mention that we also visited BigW, Officeworks and Kmart in the simple hope somebody would have stock. The best store for stock appeared to be Harvey Norman(Loganholme) but no one available to sell. The best store for service was JB HIFI Mt. Gravatt.

Good Guys Upper Mt. Gravatt advised that retailers at this time of year were reducing their range and only stocking what fit their local demographic. Considering they stocked a lot of cheap ($300 range) cameras in what I would consider reasonably affluent Mt. Gravatt I couldn’t understand the logic. He advised they would all be stocking more range and better prices closer to Christmas.

We remain without a camcorder so I continue to review the web and Lasoo looking for sales promotions. I hope this letter serves to position your brands for better service from the retail sector. You and the retail partners have invested in advertising to get me ‘through the door’ it would be to your benefit to have me walk out the door with my new camcorder.

If you are able to point us in the direction of a good deal for a camcorder that meets our previously mentioned specifications and we can see it touch it and have it demonstrated then we are ready to buy. If you are looking for a review of your product I would be more than willing to write a review based on our travel between the 7th and 18th October.

Yours Sincerely,

Andrew Pitchford

Should you get the new???

It is a constant frustration. The advertising says my gadget is last years colour. They change the specification so I’m short a decimal point in my ‘calibre’ of mega-sumthin’. How do you evaluate the next upgrade in Gadget City? This image came from an article at Gizmodo and gives a great synopsis for those battling with upgraditus.

 

image

Gadget Betrayal – The Affair

Julian Smith’s latest video tribute to iPhone 3GS on YouTube (see below) is a sad romantic interlude that shows our lack of commitment in this consumeristic society. The truth of our betrayal becomes ever so clear where we walk out on our loved gadgets too easily. We seem to always want to trade up to the newest younger model with no thought to the feelings of last years model.

Next time you find yourself attracted to that product launch, the touched up CGI colour of the new faux metal facia on a v3.0 body ask yourself ‘Why?’ So many gadgets end up at the bottom of an office drawer only one year into the relationship. Hey, many even have a good battery yearning to be worn down. But no, we walk away from tried and true business solutions for the sake of a trip to the App store.

I’m thinking of starting a BGC 12 step program to Better Gadget Commitment. Look at that phone, that camera, that phone camera and ask yourself how you would feel to be shunned for the sake of 1.2 measly extra mega-pixels?

It seems we ask for things we aren’t willing to do ourselves. Somewhere out there are gadgets willing to commit. Technology with more heart than Reagan’s pacemaker are willing to step back into this post Y2K world and sing. Before you go out there and spend a dime on plastic glitz, without the five year replacement warranty you deserve, ask yourself how I would feel to sit in the bottom drawer waiting for the company of this years model in another twelve months.

For me I’m sticking with my iPhone 3G. After all I can wait. Really. I can!

 

World Wide Web in Plain English

I love the work of Common Craft who produce a variety of presentations for work, home or pleasure on the intricacies of life. Often I am asked to explain how something happens. Immediately the mind goes into spin mode followed quickly by rinse, spin, dry and repeat. That’s where Common Craft come in. They do a great job of making the complicated seem simple or at the very least opening the door of understanding. 

Here is one key example;

TPG Disaster Customer Service on ADSL service

Dear Reader,

I could bore you with a tale of woe trying to get my TPG ADSL2 service working but rather than use this blog to deal with that. Let me show you how hard it is to move away from a bad ISP provider like TPG.

My billing cycle with TPG was on the 19th of the month. On the 23rd of February we contacted TPG in writing asking for our account to be disconnected immediately. We had simply had enough of the service and wanted to move on. We were out of contract and expected the disconnection would be simple. When you don’t pay your bill they can move really fast but not when you are walking to a competitor.

Note the cancellation dates on the first two communications state the 19th March and then state the 26th March and we move on from there.

We wanted to move to iinet but iinet would not be able to establish us on our local exchange with a naked DSL service until TPG removed their ADSL2 codes.

Note how the last response from TPG since I contacted them has moved cancellation out to the 10th of April even though I contacted them in writing out of contract on the 23rd February.

Here starts the pathetic story that shows how it can take SIX WEEKS to disconnect from an existing service like TPG. Today I tried five times to contact TPG again however their standard answer after pressing 2 for support and 2 for ADSL service is “Due to the influx in calls we are unable to assist you with your enquiry. We apologise for the inconvenience. Please try again later”. Each time you call their 1300 service you pay for the first minute. Unlike iinet that offer you the opportunity to leave a message, tell you how long it will take for someone to get back to you and then DO call you back.

SENT: 23rd February 2009 To: adsl_cancel@tpg.com.au

TPG,

re.

Userid name – XXXXXX
Userid number – XXXXXXX
Primary ADSL phone number XXXXXXXX
Address of installation XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

I wish you to apply an immediate cancellation of my ADSL2 service with your organisation. After somewhere between 2 and 3 weeks of trying to resolve this matter I am TIRED of;

  1. Spending hours on the phone in the evening and on my weekends
  2. Each time waiting for calls to be answered.
  3. Each time being qualified for my identification, sometime three times on the SAME CALL.
  4. Having calls drop out and TPG not calling me back.
  5. Having to call TPG back and go through the queue.
  6. Having 80% of the calls I make to TPG answered by a voicemail that says you can't take my call due to a high influx of calls.
  7. Despite point 6 above happening your service status on your site is always PERFECT????

I have now had three modems tested on this service (my previous one, a test unit from work and a new one). All report the same issue and this has NOT been resolved by your support although I am told today the matter was closed last week. You only need to look at my account usage to see the distinct pattern difference from previous usage and the amount of reconnections!!!!

Today I tried to call to work through support and was cut off again. No one calls me back within an hour of waiting so I wish this account cancelled immediately and the 30 days notice does not apply to this distinct lack of service. Please confirm in writing this cancellation which was discussed with your staff today.

Andrew Pitchford

 

RECEIVED 24th February 2009

TPG Internet Pty Ltd
ABN 15 068 383 737
65 Waterloo Road
North Ryde NSW 2113

Tel: 1300 360 855    Fax 02 9850 0813

Dear Customer,

Your cancellation request has been processed and finalised.

The details of your cancellation are as follows:

  • Username: XXXXXXXX
  • Customer ID: XXXXXXXX
  • Cancellation date: 26/3/2009
  • Cost for service during 30 day notice period: $57.49
  • Cancellation fee: $0.00
  • Less paid-up credit on current service: $57.49
  • Total amount to be debited: $0.00

If you have agreed to take the service for an Initial Contract Period and you seek early termination, then the contract has to be paid out, or a cancellation fee will apply, up to a maximum of $350 (whichever is the lower) – refer to Additional ADSL Pricing. If you require more information, please contact Customr Service on 1300 360 855.

Regards,
ADSL Cancellations
TPG Internet

RECEIVED 24th February 2009

On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 10:13 AM, ADSLCancellation <adsl_cancel@tpg.com.au> wrote:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your email.
Cancellation for your account will be processed on (19/03/2009). Your service will remain active until this date.
Please let me know if I can further assist you.

Kind Regards,
Dyna
Cancellation Department
Phone: 1300 360 855
Fax:   02 9850 0813
Email: adsl_cancel@tpg.com.au

SENT: 2nd March 2009

To: adsl_cancel@tpg.com.au

TPG,

As the TPG account has not been active in terms of quality of service and we wish to move on to a new provider I would like this service cancelled immediately as per my original request. Failure to do this prevents me from moving on to a new provider as the ADSL2 codes need to be removed in order for me to be able to change to a new provider's naked DSL service. Please note that not following through on this reasonable request only prolongs the bad customer experience I have received to date.

Regards,
Andrew Pitchford

SENT: March 9th 2009

To: adsl_cancel@tpg.com.au

TPG,
Can you please confirm if this account has been 'completely' cancelled?
Can you also please confirm that the ADSL2 codes have been removed from the exchange?
Many thanks,
Andrew Pitchford

RECEIVED: March 10th 2009

Dear Customer,
Thank you for your email.
Please note that your account will be cancelled on 19/03/2009.
ADSL codes will be dropped 3 to 5 working days after the cancellation date.
For ASAP cancellation, once we enter the cancellation it will be processed and will be inactive immediately.
Please confirm via return email if you would want your account be cancelled as asap.
Please let me know if I can assist you further.

Kind Regards,
Jennifer
Cancellations Department
Ph: 1300 360 855

SENT: March 11th 2009

Jennifer,
This is the third time we have requested immediate cancellation.
Please cancel ASAP.
Andrew Pitchford

RECEIVED: March 11th 2009

TPG Internet Pty Ltd
ABN 15 068 383 737
65 Waterloo Road
North Ryde NSW 2113
Tel: 1300 360 855    Fax 02 9850 0813

Dear Customer,
Your cancellation request has been processed and finalised.
The details of your cancellation are as follows:

  • Username: XXXXXXX
  • Customer ID: XXXXXXXX
  • Cancellation date: 10/4/2009
  • Cost for service during 30 day notice period: $17.50
  • Cancellation fee: $0.00
  • Less paid-up credit on current service: $17.50
  • Total amount to be debited: $0.00

If you have agreed to take the service for an Initial Contract Period and you seek early termination, then the contract has to be paid out, or a cancellation fee will apply, up to a maximum of $350 (whicheveris the lower) – refer to Additional ADSL Pricing. If you require more information, please contact Customr Service on 1300 360 855.

Regards,
ADSL Cancellations
TPG Internet

UPDATE:

SENT: March 17th 2009

to adsl_cancel@tpg.com.au
date Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 3:43 PM
subject Re: ADSL cancellation request (username XXXXXXX)

Reply

This is not the IMMEDIATE cancellation I asked for two weeks ago. Now you are telling me I have to wait until APRIL. Come on TPG, please call me to organise an immediate deactivation of the ADSL2 codes on our exchange.

Andrew Pitchford

RECEIVED: March 17th 2009

Dear Customer,
Thank you for your email.
Please be advise that removal of codes would be on 19/03/2009
Please let me know if I can further assist you.

Kind Regards,
Dyna
Cancellation Department
Phone: 1300 360 855
Fax:   02 9850 0813
Email: adsl_cancel@tpg.com.au

The Age of the Long Tail

imageChris Anderson Back in 2006 WIRED editor Chris Anderson released a book called The Long Tail. Since then there have been a number of variants on the market from other authors including an update (The Longer Long Tail) from Chris last year. However the basic premise of identifying a broader market defined by the power of the consumer has not changed.

What was previously seen as high productivity time slices where products of any type had to perform at their highest level in a do or die fashion is now shown to be dancing to a new tune. The long tail infers both a broader product market selection and greater length of life for products driven by consumer demand and access. This new business model or rather market observation has been primarily driven by the Internet’s ability to connect and deliver.

To keep more in the loop on the power of the Long Tail visit Chris’ blog and explore theory and practice. This video below is from Michael Markman and helps helps set the tone for a great read if you pick up Chris’ book. You won’t get the remote control off the guy on the couch so lets find out what he will do with it if left to his own devices.

I encourage you to search YouTube for more presentations by “Chris Anderson” and “Long Tail” to pick up on the conversation.

CVC – Relationship Development System

This week I am enjoying the hospitality of CVC in Maroochydoore. This wonderful media ministry that has arms of operation across the globe has been a major player in short wave radio bringing multiple language programs to nations such as China, Indonesia and India. Beating in the heart of CVC is the mission to take a contact with their organisation through a relationship that leads to a relationship with Jesus Christ. Their mission statement succinctly explains that process.

To introduce people to Jesus and

encourage those who acknowlege Him

to accept Him as the Son of God

and become His true followers.

This week CVC have been sharing with a variety of ministries, the features of a Relationship Development System that they have developed over aproximately four years. The system assists presenters and ministry staff to interact with a geographically spread audience utilising web technologies. Audience contacts can engage with CVC via email, SMS, letters and webforms and receive contact or answered questions via a chosen medium from the options available.

Taking the ‘conversation’ offline from the broadcast has enabled CVC to build powerful personal relationships. The key for them is a life changed and now they have been able to utilise the web technologies to take on volunteers across Australia who can logon and participate as home missionaries communicating with people groups around the world.

Amazing times with great vision.

Seth Godin Explains Tribes

In a recent presentation I did on social networking I referenced author and marketing guru Seth Godin. In this video from Loic Le Meur’s website Seth Godin explains why you need a tribe and why he is not on twitter. Seth’s latest book "Tribes" helps us define the need for leaders to come forward because there are communities that need someone to provide direction. In the area I work of Christian media, we have a message but are we willing to step to the front of a community and share our direction by saying "walk this way". Have a listen to Loic as he presses all the right buttons to get to the heart of the matter with Seth.